With just a few ingredients, Butter Cookies Recipe comes together quickly for a tasty and gorgeous treat.  Easy butter cookies are pretty enough for a cookie exchange but easy enough to make any day of the week.

2 butter cookies dipped in chocolate frosting and topped with chocolate sprinkles.
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Easy Butter Cookies Recipe

Butter Cookies are so delicious and they melt in your mouth. They are easy to make into designs and shapes. Everyone will think you spent a ton of time when really it was super easy!

Try making plain butter cookies or jazz things up with icing and sprinkles. However you decide to make these, they are going to impress your friends and family!

What are Butter Cookies?

Butter cookies originate in Denmark and sometimes are called Danish biscuits. They are delicious cookies made from butter, flour and sugar.

They are a classic basic cookie that are soft and delicious!

What is the difference between sugar and butter cookies?

While these cookies are similar there are several big differences. The main difference being the amount of sugar.

Butter cookies call for more sugar. Also, the temperature the cookies are baked at is different as well.

The cookies have different textures. Sugar cookies have a sturdier dough; whereas, butter cookies are generally softer.

Are butter cookies the same as shortbread?

No, butter cookies are not the same as shortbread cookies. The main difference between the two is the amount of sugar and the baking temperature. Butter cookies have more sugar and bake at a higher temperature than shortbread cookies.

Butter cookies stacked on top of each other on a white plate.

Ingredients you need for easy butter cookies:

  • unsalted butter – Softened at room temperature
  • granulated sugar
  • salt
  • egg yolks
  • vanilla extract – You can use almond extract if you prefer, but I love vanilla in this recipe.
  • all-purpose flour
  • milk

How to Make Butter Cookies:

First, preheat your oven.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugar and salt.

Mix in the egg and vanilla.

Add flour and mix until crumbly then add in milk.

Note: If needed add in another 1 – 2 tsp milk to the dough if it’s too thick. Make sure to add as little as possible so that the cookies do not spread.

The dough mixed together in a large metal mixing bowl.

Transfer to a 16-inch piping bag fitted with a large open star tip.

Pipe dough into rounds onto two ungreased baking sheets.

Note: If you normally have issues with cookies spreading, try chilling the dough for 30 minutes before baking.

The dough piped onto a baking sheet with a baking liner on top of it.

Bake one sheet at a time in preheated oven until golden brown on bottom.

Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store the cookies in an airtight container.

They never last long around here though because everyone loves them!

Butter cookies cooling on a wire rack.

What’s the best butter to use?

Unsalted butter is best for baking cookies. This allows the baker to easily control the amount of salt in the recipe.

It is easy to grab the wrong one at the store so definitely grab the unsalted version.

How to soften butter quickly?

Most cookie recipes call for softened butter. However, I often forget to allow the butter to soften on the counter.

If you need to soften butter quickly, you can try this handy trick. Place water in a microwave safe bowl. This bowl should be large enough to fit over the butter.

Microwave the water for about 2 minutes or until the water is very hot. Pour out the water and then place the bowl over the butter.

The heat that remains in the bowl will soften the butter quickly.

A butter cookie being dipped in frosting.

How to Store:

Store these cookies at room temperature in an air tight container for up to 5-7 days. You can also keep a piece of white bread in the container with the cookies to keep them soft.

Can you freeze butter cookies

Yes, these cookies freeze great. Seal them in a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Defrost them out at room temperature and then they are ready to enjoy.

I recommend freezing them before adding any frosting or sprinkles. Then you can easily add these items when you’re ready to enjoy the cookies.

Butter cookies dipped in chocolate frosting and topped with chocolate sprinkles.

Recipe Tips

  • Use Baking Liners or Parchment Paper – Clean up is easy and the cookies turn out perfectly every time! You can also use a prepared baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Use Silicone liners – I prefer silicone liners because they are reusable and so handy.
  • Chill the dough – if you find the dough too sticky, go ahead and chill the dough in the refrigerator first.
A butter cookie dipped in frosting and topped with rainbow sprinkles.

Butter Cookies Recipe

4.80 from 10 votes
With just a few ingredients, Butter Cookies Recipe comes together quickly for a tasty and gorgeous treat.  Easy butter cookies are so pretty and delicious.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Cool 5 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 24
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 133

Ingredients

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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream together butter, sugar and salt until combined.
  • Mix in egg yolks and vanilla.
  • Add flour and mix until crumbly then add in milk (if needed add in another 1 – 2 tsp milk for a more pipe-able consistency, add as little as possible for less spreading though).
  • Transfer to a 16-inch piping bag fitted with a large open star tip (I like this tip https://amzn.to/31kK3rU).
  • Pipe dough into rounds onto two ungreased baking sheets (if you normally have issues with cookies spreading chill them for 30 minutes on baking sheet before baking).
  • Bake one sheet at a time in preheated oven until golden brown on bottom, about 12 – 16 minutes.
  • Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Notes

You can sprinkle them with sprinkles fresh out of the oven, or you can even dip them into white chocolate or regular chocolate and add sprinkles. Lots of options. If I dip them I just hold them and dip so only half is covered.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 133kcal, Carbohydrates 14g, Protein 1g, Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 5g, Cholesterol 37mg, Sodium 26mg, Potassium 15mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 6g, Vitamin A 258IU, Calcium 6mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

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Comments

  1. Paula says:

    5 stars
    Love these. Next time I want to add almond flavoring.

  2. Gayle says:

    Can I use this recipe in a cookie press? Thanks @

    1. Carrie says:

      Yes, I think you could.